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Safety in Malaysia

While Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are relatively safe to travel to, it's still important to keep safety in mind.  Here are some important safety tips about traveling in Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia:

  • Violent crime isn't common in Kuala Lumpur, but pickpocketing and bag snatching is, including by thieves on moterbikes.  Carry your bags on the side towards the pavement rather than the road to try and avoid being targeted by thieves on vehicles.  Don't strap your bag over the shoulder as victims have been injured or killed being pulled to the ground by their bag straps.  Don't carry your passport in a bag that could be snatched.
  • Credit and debit card fraud have been a growing issue in Malaysia.  Only use your card in reputable shops and be careful when others handle your card during payment processing.
  • Make sure you only use registered taxis while traveling around Kuala Lumpur.  See here for more details about taxis.
  • Don't wear excessive jewlery- this can attract snatchers.
  • Don't leave your passports or valuables unattended at any time, even in your hotel room.  There have been instances of passports and other valuables being snatched from within hotel rooms.
  • It is recommended to wear clothes that are relatively modest, with long sleeves and long pants.  Malaysia is a Muslim majority country, and you may be refused entry to some places, such as mosques, if you are not dressed modestly.
  • Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia is relatively safe for women traveling alone, but it is recommended that women avoid isolated locations or traveling alone after dark.

Overall, Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are considered relatively safe places to travel to, and taking normal safety precautions and exercising common sense should keep you safe in a majority of instances.

Staying healthy in Malaysia

While traveling to Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia is not overly dangerous, there are some important health tips to follow to avoid getting ill:

  • Malaysia is very hot and humid, so drink plenty of water and try to avoid strenous activity in the midday sun.  It's best to avoid drinking tap water, so ask for bottled water when possible.
  • Make sure to bring sunscreen and DEET spray.
  • Travellers diarrhea is common when going to Kuala Lumpur, so it is recommended to bring antibiotics or similar medication in case you need them.
  • If you plan on hiking outside Kuala Lumpur, particually in the jungle, you should check with your doctor to see if you need malaria tablets.  Make sure to bring DEET spray to keep insects away as well.
  • From June to October, areas around Kuala Lumpur conduct slash and burn operations on their farmland.  This will result in smoke covering the city of Kuala Lumpur, although daily smoke amount can vary.  If you have respiratory issues, check with your doctor to see how best to prepare for this.
  • Consult your doctor for what vaccines are recommended or required for travel from your country to Malaysia.  It is generally recommended for you to have diptheria and tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR, Polio, Typhoid, and Varicella vaccines to travel to Kuala Lumpur, but you should check with your doctor to see if additional vaccines are needed.